Les Jolies.

Hanging in there? Nearly a month in, my magpie friends. We got this. Let’s get through this week, apparently meant to be one of the worst, and take a deep breath.

In the meantime, the words I repeated to myself while undergoing the c-section that brought Hill into this world nearly a year ago feel just as important and powerful now as they did then. Focus on me, not on the storm.

And also in the meantime: distraction. I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep the other night and a little poetry lint drifted my way out of the ether: the first line of a French poem I was tasked with mastering my second year of high school, Ronsard’s “Allons voir si la rose.” I could not believe myself as I recited line after line perfectly, twenty years later. (Twenty years! It’s been twenty years since I was a little foal in high school!) This should not be taken as a humble brag about my mental dexterity but rather proof of my extreme shyness as a young girl, as we were all required to recite the poem aloud to the rest of the class, and I was horrified at not only having to speak something from memory in front of the rest of my class but to do it in French, which, though I practiced in private with exaggerated and accented flourish, I felt I had to perform badly in the presence of classmates. (For reasons unclear to me now, it was uncool to be seen trying to speak with a proper accent, except for a classmate named Sophie whose mother, I believe, spoke native French to her.) At any rate, I worked on memorizing that poem so vigorously and under such duress that I don’t believe I’ll ever forget it — such was the extent of my stage fright. It’s burned in my brain along with the smell of my grandmother’s perfume (Quelques Fleurs — if you know, you know) and the thwirly sound my mother’s desk drawer made as she’d draw it out and in, taking prodigious notes in her filled planner, details stuck in my memory as in resin for the rest of my life. May I suggest a similar nighttime activity if you share my predisposition for bouts of insomnia? Draw up an old poem or song and think through all the lyrics you can, in agonizing detail. I assure you there is nothing more transportive than returning to a moment of tremendous stage fright from your youth and somehow piecing together the lines of a poem so ancient as to seem virtually illegible:

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose

qui ce matin avait declose

sa robe de pourpre au soleil…

This kind of forced memory-digging unleashes for me an imaginative prehensility that sends me drifting off to sleep…

And if that doesn’t work, maybe some of these will.

Or, retail therapy! Presenting quelques jolies for you today:

+I love the floral pattern on this affordable blouse ($36 with code!) so much. I’d wear with white jeans.

+Or, I’d wear it under my go-to white joveralls, very similar to these.

+I have always absolutely adored Matouk’s Charlotte bedding set, and it is currently 30% off. Would be so elegant in a guest room.

+Precious denim shortalls for a Tom Sawyer summer look. (Style with nothing else but sandy feet and wind-blown hair.)

+One of my favorite recent purchases for Hill — I had it done with a huge monogram on the front.

+These raffia earrings go with everything.

+My beloved nightgown dress is on sale for $40! This is also a beauty.

+My favorite striped tee from Kule is on sale for an astounding $23 here!!! (Usually $98!) Also do not miss this sale in general — so many epic scores, like this versatile and chic Saloni (if you must wear black, make it Saloni), this scallop-edged classic in such a fun color (perfect for occasions at Church or with a mother-in-law), these party-ready slides, and this precious set for a little one.

+Kind of love this retro-looking cable knit short sleeved sweater.

+Update: these trays are a God-send for those of you attempting to entertain little ones. I like them for my own sanity (keeping loose markers and stray play dough bits corraled in one space) and have also found that setting up two trays with two different potential activities — say, necklace-making in one and play-dough in the other, or printed-out coloring pages with crayons in one and waterbeads in the other — is very exciting to Emory and gives her the impression of choice and freedom. (A round up of activities for little ones here!)

+DREAM BEACH CHAIR in that gingham!

+This looks so pretty and comfortable.

11 Comments

  1. I had to memorise that poem in French class as well! Boy, does that take me back! I still remember some of the rest of it, so burned into my brain it was.

    1. That is SO funny! It must be a French staple and I thought it was idiosyncratic to us…ha! So funny that so many of us can recite bits of it from memory. Try reciting it to yourself at night — sure to make you fall asleep. Haha!

    1. Thank you! Shared some on-trend dresses today and will be sharing more current-season picks tomorrow! xx

    1. Hm – I ordered an XS, my usual size, and it fits perfectly. I mean, it’s designed to be worn on the roomy/breezy side so you can probably get away with sizing down if you’re between sizes, but I’d probably take your usual size.

      xx

    2. Hi Betsie! I just wanted to back Jen up here & say that I took my regular size as well. The smocking detail up top makes it ever so slightly narrow in the shoulders (for me, at least) so if you have wider shoulders, I would definitely not size down. The body is still v. roomy, but that’s the look! Hope this helps.

  2. I too love the Zara nightgown dress, but it looks cloyingly hot! Can’t imagine when I could wear it since we’re not going out now and 85 degree temps will soon be here. Can you enlighten me on where/when to wear this?

    1. Hi Cynthia! It is actually linen, which is breathable, but I would agree that because of the high-neck and long sleeves / length, it’s probably best for a spring day in the 70s. For now, of course, I’m primarily wearing it around the house 🙂

      xx

  3. OMG — that poem takes me right back to French class! I had to memorize it as well. Nostalgia!!

    I own those white overalls to which you linked, and I LOVE THEM. I actually recently bought them in blue denim as well! They’re my Platonic ideal of overalls.

    Also: I ended up snagging that floral Zara dress at the sale price and it’s pretty great. It does look rather nightgown-y (if not in texture, since the linen-blend material is ever so slightly rough) but that makes it the perfect around-the-house dress!

    xx

    1. Oo good to know about those overalls!! And how FUNNY that you had to memorize the same poem — must be a staple among old-school French teachers?

      Yay on the Zara dress! Such a fun (on-trend) item to have in your arsenal while we’re inside.

      xx

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